#BeAdVENTUROUS: How Bloom Impact is disrupting traditional banking systems and connecting women to finance
Connecting women entrepreneurs to the financing they need
EWB currently invests in 9 ventures, 5 of which are co-founded and led by women, including Kwangu-Kwako, Numida Technologies, FarmDrive, Bloom Impact and M-Shule.
Below, find out how Bloom Impact is connecting women entrepreneurs to the financing they need to thrive.
Meet Bloom Impact
Co-founded by Carol Caruso, Bloom Impact is an innovative social enterprise in Ghana that is unlocking opportunities for those underserved by traditional models of banking and financial services. In Ghana, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 92% of businesses, yet 70% lack access to finance. This is where Bloom Impact steps in. By connecting entrepreneurs and financial service providers through a digital marketplace, business owners are able learn about and apply for financial services, and service providers are able to find eligible, new clients at a lower cost.
For women entrepreneurs, who may face multiple barriers in access to finance, the app opens up new opportunities by making alternative sources of funding available.
“We target African female business owners and work with sector organisations that support female entrepreneurs with training, talent management, advocacy, and more,” says Carol. “Throughout the region, women entrepreneurs particularly need support since they struggle the hardest due to lack of resources, opportunities, and limited education and training. By using Bloom Impact, they can now easily apply for financial services that might otherwise be unavailable, and access tools, tips and information that increase their financial literacy.”
We aim to raise funds from social-impact investors that have women in leadership.
On the investment side, Bloom Impact works primarily with social impact investors, many of which are taking steps to advance gender equality.
“We aim to raise funds from social-impact investors that have women in leadership,” says Carol. “Many venture capitalists avoid risk by investing through their connections, but most of their connections are male, and their connections are male, and so on. Today, 80% of venture funding goes to male-only founders, and only 8% of partners at leading firms are female – this despite US SBA research that indicates that venture firms that invest more in women-led businesses have portfolios’ that perform better than firms that don’t. Firms need to hire more female partners and male partners need to expand their networks to include female founders, leaders and executives, to break down these barriers. Fortunately in Social Impact investing we see more and more women in leadership positions, investing in women owned or managed startups. It’s a very important and promising trend.”
Take action to support women-led ventures like Bloom Impact!
Show your support for early-stage ventures, particularly those led by women – ask Canada’s Minister of International Trade, François-Philippe Champagne, to #BeAdVENTUROUS!